The origin of wine

A foible of mine:

I only buy and drink wine from regions I have visited

Fortunately I have been to Bordeaux and other great wine producing areas but I just decided about a year ago that I might as well impose a restriction just for the hell of it. Should someone offer me wine then I will drink it from anywhere. For me, this rule just makes choosing wine a little more interesting.
Places I can’t drink:

  • South America
  • North America (apart from Florida)
  • Asia (apart from Hong Kong and Singapore)
  • Africa

Individual areas that I can drink:

  • Most of France
  • Bits of Spain
  • Cyprus
  • South East Australia
  • Southern Portugal
That’s about it. Hey, as the Great Sheldon said “if your going to have foibles you might as well make them bizarre”.


This is probably the definition of irony.
Decided to cancel my Continuous Play PS3 insurance policy. Although it was only £5 a month I had been paying it for a few years and could have bought another PS3 with that amount of money in that time. The issue is that I have a 60Gb Fat PS3 and the specification is so good I don’t want to lose it. I bought a few SACDs when they were released and the PS3 is the only thing that will play them since I upgraded my amplifier. So, 11am I phoned the insurance company and cancelled my policy with them.
I started playing on the PS3 and actually had it doing some GT5 B-Spec races while I was watching TV. Later on while my baby son was sleeping I thought I would have a go at a Japanese GT race at the Nurburgring  Grand Prix circuit. I was doing really well and catching first place at about 3 seconds a lap with 2 laps to go and a gap of 4 seconds. This was going to be a fun last lap.
BLANK. The TV picture died, I could hear the HDD and fan of the PS3 running down and playing the sounds of death. Suddenly there’s a red light flashing on the PS3. I google, as is the modern way, and it turns out to be bad.  OK, no panic. Surely everything will be ok.
Phoned the insurance company: Yes, my cover is still valid and yes they will stop my cancellation order.
Phoned PlayStation support: Yes, you are covered and we’ll send a reconditioned unit to you tomorrow.
Result: I am now playing GT5 (managed to get the save file) and loving it still. Won the GT race and now, as I type the PS3 is racing a B-Spec race for me but rather badly.
Hopefully, that is the end of the story.

iPhone Apps

Here are some of my favourite iPhone apps and why:

General apps:

  • Podcaster – I listen to lots of podcasts! There’s a list here.
  • Tunein Radio – when I do the washing up I listen BBC Radio 4 via the internet as the FM signal in the kitchen is a bit iffy. I also listen to Radio Rock – Helsinki
  • Met Office – Get the weather and rain maps. Just great.
  • WordPress – for editing this site on the move and when I am away from a computer.
  • Wolfram – for maths stuff and finding out things that require time series or comparisons.
  • Flickr – puts my family photos onto the Flickr site.
  • Twitter – I can follow my favourite people and occasionally tweet about the aero-fauna I see.
  • IMDb – ever recognise someone in a film and wonder what else they have been in? If so then you need IMBd. I remember it when it was based in Cardiff (that’s a long time ago).
  • GTPlanet – I use it to check out interesting things about the Gran Turismo series.

 Sport apps:

  • WTCC – keeps me in touch with the World Touring Car Series.
  • William Hill – I can place my usual amount on the sporting outcomes on offer.
  • Spurs – just to keep up to date with the score and Premiership table. Football on the whole bores me as a sport.
  • ECB Cricket – because cricket is a sport that matters.
  • NFL – after motorsport this is probably my favourite sport.
  • F1


  • F-Sim Shuttle – in top 3%
  • X – Plane – 4G
  • RC Plane 2
  • F.A.S.T.
  • Real Racing 2
  • Slayer Pinball HD
  • Angry Birds – in the top 9%
  • Sailboat Pro
  • Flick Golf

My GameCentre name is Kurtz72 


  • Wind Tunnel – as an aero engineer (by degree) this is fascinating.
  • Star Walk – it’s always good to know what stars you are looking at.
  • Fractile – zoom into the Mandelbrot set which is just lovely and fascinating.


Time Consuming

Just managed to upload the parish website version 2. This was started in about 2004 and then I had a re-imaging in about 2010. There’s quite a but there. I was really proud of it and like the colour scheme. Some pictures are missing and I doubt I’ll find them as I changed computers in that time, whoops.
Link here.
It brings back some wonderful memories and what you can do when you have the time and aren’t running around after two kids.